The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Brisket, According To Duff Goldman

There are a lot of different ways to add flavor to your brisket, but if you ask Duff Goldman, simpler is better. Best known as the founder of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore and as the star of Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," Goldman has had a long and distinguished culinary career that has seen him work at some of the biggest name restaurants in the world, including The French Laundry. That kind of career naturally begs the question of what kind of food Goldman loves to eat himself, and during an exclusive interview with The Daily Meal, he gave a very clear answer as to what his last meal would involve, and the top of that list was brisket. Then, when asked whether he had any tips for making a brisket worthy of that love, his advice wasn't something to do, but something to leave out: sugar.

Goldman said his mom's sedar brisket was his favorite and dismissed versions that get too sweet, saying, "Just don't put sugar on it, you know. People put ketchup all over their brisket, or onion soup mix. Coca-Cola, all this stuff." So if he is cutting out the sugar and condiments like ketchup, how does Goldman actually like his brisket? "Salt, pepper, maybe a little onion powder, garlic powder, beef stock, don't need anything else. Just low and slow, nice and simple," he shares, adding that salty and juicy is all he wants.

Duff Goldman wants a simple braised brisket

As Goldman told The Daily Meal, this isn't just any brisket, and it's not our typical barbecue version either, it's brisket for the Passover sedar. That version of brisket isn't the smoky, crusty version you expect off a grill, but a tender, slow-braised dish akin to pot roast. Goldman wants a nice "big thick, salty crust on it," and in the braised version, this is done by searing the brisket hard in the pot to brown it. After all, once the liquid is added, any chance of developing that crust is gone.

And if you aren't adding sugar, how do you get the sweetness to balance out the dish? Well, that is mostly coming from aromatics, especially carrots, which you can add to the broth as you braise your brisket. Tomato paste is also a great way to add some depth to the sauce without the sugar of ketchup.

There is no one way to make a sedar brisket; every family like Goldman's is going to have their own way, but he is right that it doesn't need much to be delicious. The slow cooking will impart a deep flavor to the braising liquid, which will make a great sauce for a fall-apart tender slice of meat when everything is done. As Goldman must know, a lot of the best things don't require overthinking it.

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